Music retailer chain Guitar Center has officially filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after months of speculation that they were going bankrupt, according to Pitchfork. The company filed on November 21 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. The country’s largest musical instrument retail store has been struggling all year due to competition but especially began to struggle when they were forced to close many of their stores for a few months due to coronavirus.
“This is an important and positive step in our process to significantly reduct our debt and enhance our ability to reinvest in our business to support long-term growth…” according to a statement made by Guitar Center CEO Ron Japinga.
Although Guitar Center has already filed, they still plan to pay their employees going forward. Guitar Center also stated that they plan to meet the agreements they made with other vendors and suppliers in full “without interruption in the ordinary course of business.”
While at one point during the pandemic Guitar Center had 75 percent of their stores closed, Fender found themselves flourishing in sales at a time where they least expected. Over the last 13 years or so, guitar sales have gone down drastically compared to years prior. Musicians like Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton made suggestions that maybe the guitar was on the road to it’s death. Because of the coronavirus lockdown, more and more people found the free time to learn a new hobby. For many, that was learning how to play a guitar. Fender also offers an instructional app that helps promote easy and accessible learning for those who are interested.
Fender wasn’t the only guitar company to thrive during the pandemic. Gibson, Martin and Taylor also had increases in their sales this year. However, not all of those who are involved in the music industry have been that lucky, Guitar Center being a perfect example of that.